When preparing your chanterelles, instead of rinsing or washing them, try to brush the dirt away as much as possible with your fingers or a brush without getting them wet. If you absolutely must rinse them, pat them dry as much as possible and use them right away (don’t try to store wet mushrooms). After they are clean, tear them into to larger sized pieces. Remember they shrink a lot when you cook them.
I started off with 1/4 cup of goat cheese….but ended up adding a little more.
Then taste for salt. Because cheeses have different saltiness, the amount of salt you will need will vary. If you used a flavorful stock you may not even need much salt. But most likely you will need a little.
Here is a lovely ingredient that will elevate your polenta. If you don’t have it on hand, substitute fresh black pepper, but the next time you are at the store, pick some up and try it. You can buy whole white peppercorns and grind them with mortar and pestle if you don’t want to devote your pepper mill to them.
I could do a whole post on white pepper because I have grown to love it so much. White pepper has a completely different flavor than regular black pepper.
It has a haunting sort of mustiness that I am very drawn to. I especially like using it in the colder months. It’s hard to describe, but give it a try and see if you like it. Perhaps it is an acquired taste.
I use it often in creamy soups, in hummus and with white winter vegetables like parsnips and cauliflower.
When the polenta has cooked, then add your choice of cheese, white pepper, and adjust for salt. I like to add a dollop of butter as well. Mix it in and serve.
To make the Chanterelles, sauté them in a med-hot skillet with a mix of oil and butter so they are nicely browned. I added coarsely chopped garlic towards the end ( so it does not burn) and sage. Salt to taste. Serve atop your bed of delicious polenta.
This recipe makes 2 very generous portions.